Nurture groups are an in-school or in-home
psychosocial intervention of groups of less
than 12 students or in a family that effectively replace
missing or distorted early nurturing
experiences for both children and young
adults; they achieve this by immersing
children in an accepting and warm
environment which helps develop positive
relationships with both teachers, peers and family members.
Nurture groups were originally developed in 1969 in
London by educational psychologist Marjorie Boxall who
saw that a large number of children entering school
arrived with severe social, emotional and behavioral
needs. These students were unable to form trusting
relationships with adults or to respond appropriately to
other children – in effect, they were simply not ready to
meet the social and intellectual demands of school life.
Nurture groups are used in many schools throughout the UK and have shown tremendous improvements in social abilities.
Nurture groups are developed around six
principles of nurture:
- Learning is understood developmentally
- A person must be able to give care to have a healthy relationship
- A person must be able to receive care to have a healthy relationship
- A person must be able to communicate their need to have a healthy relationship
- A person must be able to be autonomous (self-regulate) to have a healthy relationship
- The importance of transitions in all of life
There are three rules in a nurture group:
- We stick together
- No hurts
- Have fun!